I was reading “A vegetarian or vegan may show up at your cookout. Do not be alarmed” and it got me thinking about the perils of parties for vegans/vegetarians as well as the stresses of having someone show up at your house and you don’t know exactly what to cook for them.
Let me tell you what stresses me out. People who have parties that are worried about cooking for me. I know, you are already freaking out about me visiting your house and how it affects your menu. So I’m telling you to not worry, at all, about me.
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the fact that a handful of hosts have thought about my dietary choices, but let me let you in on a little secret about vegans: we are already full OR are bringing our own dinner. No matter what you do.
I’ve been putting fear in the hearts of many hosts for many years. I’ve been a vegetarian for a long while but only recently, in the last 1-2 years have I made an effort to cook vegan at home. I tell my friends at VeganGR, that I’m vegan-ish. I try to eat vegan all of the time, but I am not always successful. So, I will say that as a rookie veg, I have shown up to a few BBQ’s with a humble side dish and hope for the best, but that is just silly. Why should you go out of your way as a host to make a veg main dish materialize? That’s a lot of effort to learn a new style of cooking, and frankly, I mean this in the nicest way possible, you probably won’t get it right anyway. There are so many people with varying dietary needs out there: Gluten Free, Gluten Free Vegan,HFC S Free, Vegan, Organic, Vegetarian, Pescetarian, Dairy-Free Omnivores, Raw, people with food allergies that you are never going to get it right dead on without far more effort than any of us “weirdos” actually expect. We are used to fending for ourselves. Really.
So while I really appreciate the effort. Focus on having a stress-free time as a host-worry about the guy who will complain about his burger being overdone or steak underdone and by all means, the chicken…please cook that through and don’t let the juices contaminate the whole party. You have enough to worry about. You are already providing us with beer (I hope) and a venue in which to gather with our friends. Vegans are typically very, very skilled at ferreting out scraps and bites to eat here and there…also, you can rest assured we will have brought something delish to share that your meat-eating friends will also like. Plus, you have always wanted to try that Seitan/Tofu/Tempeh thing anyway…so I’ll treat it like an educational project if you are willing to try something new. I’ll craft something delicious to share, have already eaten in preparation for limited noms, or I’ll just drink the night away with these here potato chips and rolls.
Thanks for thinking of us. We know it’s a pain in the ass that we are different, but we won’t make you also be different just to hang out with us. I’m just hoping I brought enough of my good stuff to share, as it is usually met with equal parts “I must try this to see if I like it” and “I must try this to mock them about only eating tree leaves and shoots, [only to find out] wait- it’s friggin delicious.”
So, my dear friend, thank you for hosting, chill out and please be sure to buy some craft beer. While I won’t complain about the food…I will certainly complain about there only being Bud Light in the cooler.